(BlackMediaScoop) Soledad O’Brien will leave CNN’s morning show in the spring, but she won’t be leaving the cable news channel altogether.
O’Brien, who is well-known for CNN documentaries like “Black in America,” said Thursday that she would form a production company and continue to supply documentaries to CNN on a nonexclusive basis. She’ll also make them for other television channels and forthe Web.
“There’s so many great stories to tell,” O’Brien said, she’s also preparing two new installments of the “Black in America” franchise for CNN.
The deal is an unusual one for CNN. In effect, O’Brien will go from being an anchor to an outside producer. She may have had little choice in the matter: the new head of CNN Worldwide, Jeff Zucker, decided even before he started the job in January that he wanted to replace O’Brien’s morning show, “Starting Point,” with a brand new one.
The hosts of the new, as-yet-untitled show have not been named, but Zucker hired Chris Cuomo from ABC last month with the intention of pairing him with Erin Burnett, who presently hosts the 7 p.m. hour on CNN.
After Zucker took over, “we had conversations in general about my role at CNN,” O’Brien said in a telephone interview on Thursday. “What we ended up with was, they wanted to partner with me, and I wanted to partner with them.”
So she will be a free agent, hosting documentaries for CNN part-time, but able to take hosting and reporting jobs elsewhere at the same time. She could go the syndication route, as Katie Couric has.